Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by -Serein-, Oct 22, 2015.
What are the pros and cons of using a compact camera or a Bridge camera?
Pros: small, light, affordable, some models have exceptionally long telephoto capability, most do decent video now, not great, but decent, they are fairly affordable, and they do not draw a lot of notice by people on the street, or uniformed security at stadiums and events. "A few" have large-ish sensors AND extremely long telephoto lenses, and can deliver VERY good ultra-telephoto type images. Virtually all of these that have huge,long zoom ranges have built-in image stabilization. Canon, Nikon, Sony,Fuji, and Panasonic are companies that make some very fine compact and bridge cameras. Looking like "a tourist" or "just an average dad" can sometimes lead to better photos in social situations than walking around with a "big, black camera". Shallow depth of field can be difficult or impossible to get with many compacts; but on the plus side, deep, expansive depth of field is best achieved with a compact camera, so the compact can actually take SOME kinds of photos that just cannot be done with say, a medium format rollfilm camera, or a 35mm SLR,or a FF digital camera.
Cons: might not offer raw image capture option. Lens is usually fixed (not always, but on most the lens is fixed to the body permanently). Small sensors mean highest ISO levels and lowest light performance is not as good as with cameras that have bigger sensors and can use "fast" lenses that have "bright" apertures like f/1.4 or f/1.8 or f/2 as their widest aperture. Battery life is almost such that you will need one, or even two spare batteries to make it through a long shoot, whereas the "big" d-slrs have two-day batteries, and the entry- and mid-level d-slrs have "700-1,000-shot" type battery capacity. Many mirrorless cameras have dreadful 300-450 shot batteries, as pathetic as many compacts have. Fast action shooting performance might not be good enough for extreme sports or action, in some or many cases; that kind of depends.
Some of the better bridge cameras do have raw capture, and even the ones with smaller sensors can do very well under good conditions. In other words, not in low light, where you might go to ISO 800 or above, and not in situations where you really should use a focal length they don't have, or where good focus is difficult to achieve. I have many photos taken in fairly good light with a bridge camera and printed page size that I can't distinguish from those taken with an SLR.
Just want to make sure the comparison is "A Compact or Bridge camera vs. a DSLR".
One other thing I will add is time to take a shot, any good DSLR is basically instantaneous from turning on - pressing shutter - picture taken, while even many good Bridge cameras has over a second lag to be able to turn on and then all the way to the picture being taken.
I had just read the review on the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II and it notes the delay to take a shot and the continuous auto-focus are not up to even an entry level DSLR. I had read this review as I have an old Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 and really the shutter-lag to take a shot was the only thing that would really frustrate me with that camera (try taking pictures of kids running around, you have to take into account the shutter lag).
There is also the price premium.
DSLR's have not been mentioned
OK, the difference between a Compact camera and a Bridge camera. I think they charge more for a Bridge camera
Can you get across a stream with a bridge camera ?
I am sure I can play cards with it. Probably even photo cards.
If you have to ask, get the Bridge Camera.
There are a few compact cameras that get me drooling though.
Sony RX1R II (what a stupid name)
Panasonic Lumix LX100 (or the Leica typ 109)
as for Bridge Cameras, I quite (very much) like the FZ1000 and the FZ300.
I'm undecided on the Nikon Coolpix P900
$600 for a small format camera???
Skip the bridge camera. Just buy a used DSLR. Unless you love that new camera smell or feel you need the warranty, buying a new camera is a huge waste of money. Any DSLR made in the last 5 years will out-perform a similarly-priced new bridge camera.
There's nothing wrong with a bridge camera. a 1" sensor with a 25-400 f/2.8-4.0 would be a heck of a lot of fun on a vacation.
When I was in London earlier this year, I used a GM-1 far more than I used my D810.
There are things a DSLR excel at and things that a Bridge Camera would be a far better choice.
I think the name "bridge" camera kinda throws me off a bit. It seems like when people say this I get the impression that they are looking for something to tide them over until they are "ready" for a dslr - as if using a DSLR before you've monkey'd around with a few p/s first is against some photography rules or something.
I do think that there are people who are intimidated by a DSLR, and are attracted to these compact, non-interchangeable cameras, and I don't think that is the right reason to choose one over a dslr.
But, that's not what's being asked here, and it seems I got tied up in the semantics when I posted.
Separate names with a comma.